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Skill, Ability and Learning
PE revision…read more

Slide 2

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Definition of skill = "the learnt ability to bring about pre-determined results with maximum
certainty, often with the minimum outlay of time or energy or both"
Characteristics of skill:
Goal-directed and pre-determined
Learned, not innate
Efficient movement, no waste of energy
Flowing and aesthetically pleasing
Correct use of technique at the right time
Consistently successful and technically correct
Correct decisions made due to evaluating performance
Skill vs. Ability
A skill is something you can learn, whereas ability is innate and has a more inherited and
genetic background. For example, being able to run fast is an ability (potentially inherited),
but being able to run an effective 100m race is a skill because it is learned and trained for.
Furthermore, ability is enduring as it never goes away, and it also underpins skill; without
the ability you cannot do the skill.…read more

Slide 3

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Types of Skill
There are 3 types of skill:
1. Cognitive skill:
· The use of the brain to reason and problem solve as a result of learning and experience
· Choosing which action to use
· Decision making/evaluating opponents and their tactics
2. Perceptual skill:
· How well we can see and process information
· Our capacity to use/interpret different stimuli/information
· E.g. How weather conditions will affect play
· It might be our ability to judge or interpret, or our judgement on how to react.
· Comes from experience
3. Psycho-motor skill:
· Physical movement skills (e.g. writing and running) controlled by the brain
· Goal directed…read more

Slide 4

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Classification of Skill
Gross/Fine skills
Large muscle movements
Major bodily movement skills associated with strength, endurance and
E.g. Walking, running, jumping, kicking a football
Involves small muscle movement
Small bodily movement associated with speed, accuracy and efficiency.
Associated more with industrial motor skills (e.g. writing painting, sewing).
Gross/Fine continuum
Snooker Dart shot Badminton Rugby
net drop Running tackle
Fine Archery Chest
Gross…read more

Slide 5

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Classification of Skill
Open/Closed skill
Performer must act according to the action of the object or the characteristic of
the environment
All about reactions
E.g. returning a tennis serve, driving a car
Environment is stable and predictable
The object or environment is acted upon by the performer
E.g. bowling, archery, climbing, weights, serving
Open/Closed continuum
Returning a Passing Netball shot Shooting an Shooting an
tennis serve arrow arrow
Batting in Bowling in
Open rounders rounders Closed…read more

Slide 6

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Classification of Skill
Discrete/Continuous/Serial skill
Discrete motor skill:
Well defined beginning and end of a skill
E.g. football goal kick
Continuous motor skill:
Poorly defined beginning and end of a skill
E.g. running, swimming (end point is determined by the performer and not specified by the skill itself)
Serial motor skill:
Discrete skills put together to make a sequence
E.g. Gym routine, triple jump
Discrete/Continuous/Serial continuum
Triple jump Football goal kick
Gym routine Basketball lay Forward roll
Running Hurdles
t e
s…read more

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